Submitted by Lee Dobson, Area Director, SC Government Affairs (GAO)
This year, will be the first year in many years that we will be working with lawmakers to garner support for a much needed Medicaid rate increase. We are partnering with other providers, as well as the South Carolina Association for Home & Hospice Care to ensure a unified voice. Lawmakers return to Columbia on January 10, where we will work with leadership in both chambers. Senator Hugh Leatherman, Sr. of Florence will remain the chair of Finance and Senator Harvey Peeler, Jr. of Cherokee will lead Medical Affairs. In the House, Representative Brian White will remain chair of Ways and Means.
Submitted by Lee Dobson, Area Director, NC Government Affairs (GAO)
Lawmakers return to Raleigh, NC for the start of the 2017-2019 legislative session on January 11. We expect to see a few changes in committee assignments and leadership, especially in House Appropriations for Health & Human Services (HHS), with the election defeat of Representative Marilyn Avila. However, we anticipate (and are thrilled) that Representative Nelson Dollar will remain Chair of HHS Appropriations and Representative Josh Dobson will assume the leadership position of vice-chair on that committee. Senators Ralph Hise and Louis Pate will remain Co-Chairs of Senate Appropriations for HHS. Our reimbursement priority is to increase the Medicaid aide rate from $13.88 to $17.00 over two years.
Submitted by Rick Hynick, Director, Client and Family Advocacy
On January 10, there will be a lobby day at the State Capital Building in Boston. The goal of the lobby day is to have a unified group of clients, families, home care providers and all who want a better tomorrow for home care, to come together and unveil a new Patient Bill of Rights. Moving forward, this Bill of Rights will protect the rights of the children and adults who utilize Continuous Skilled Nursing Services within the home care setting including mandating a fair and more equal wage for the nurses who provide these services in the homes of our clients.
Submitted by Shannon Gahs, Associate Director, MD Government Affairs (GAO)
On Wednesday, State Senator Gail Bates, who represents portions of Howard and Carroll Counties, joined Area Director David Pareja (BWV) on a home visit to meet a physical therapy client. They discussed the many types of services that can be provided in home and community based settings, the differences between home-based care and facility-based care, as well as current issues facing our practices in Maryland.